This year’s Champakulam Moolam Boat Race, which heralds the boat race season in the State, will be held on the Pampa river at Champakulam in the district on June 23.

Governor Nikhil Kumar will inaugurate the race. Altogether 29 country boats, including nine snake boats, will be competing in the race.

The winner of the main contest among snake boats will lift the Rajapramukhan trophy. The race is perhaps the second oldest in the State and has a history of over 450 years.

Key categories

Though the main attraction will be the battle of snake boats in the race, there will also be other boats lined up for contest in different categories.

Even in the snake boat category, the boats will be smaller in size than those participating in the famed Nehru Trophy Boat Race and have a little over 100 oarsmen.

The contest of Churulan boats, having only 30 oarsmen, is also another attraction. Other boats include Veppu boats, which traditionally used to ferry cooks for the King’s army and Iruttukuthi boats.

Veppu A grade boats have about 65 oarsmen. Iruttukuthi boats are known for its shape and can move at great speed and interestingly had been used by dacoits in the past. A procession proclaiming the beginning of the boat race, which started from Kurichi Karikkulam Parthasarathy Temple on Wednesday ended at Ambalappuzha Sri Krishna Temple near here on Thursday evening.

Though rains have flooded the area on the shores of the Pampa river, the race is unlikely to be postponed.

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